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Researching a Local Business: Local and State History

Getting started with researching a Business in Huntsville and the surrounding area.

Madison County Records Center

The Madison County Records Center (MCRC) was established in the Huntsville – Madison County Public Library building and staffed by Probate Court personnel in 2001.  This was accomplished under the authority of Probate Tommy Ragland in order to more fully comply with Section 36 of the Code of Alabama (1975) and to better adhere to the guidelines of the Alabama Department of Archives and History – Records Disposition Authority, preserving official records that construct the history of  Madison County.

The specific mission of the MCRC is to preserve the non-current official documents of the Madison County court system and to provide public access to history of the county, as contained therein.

The Madison County Records Center has an office on the third floor of the Main Branch of Huntsville-Madison County Public Library.


For more information please visit the website:


Local History Resources

Print Collection

Huntsville-Madison County Public Library Special Collections houses a very extensive print collection. We have past Huntsville phone directories from 1941 to 2009 and city directories dating back to 1859, general historical volumes as well as state histories, including vital statistics, family histories and census collections.

Specific Books Helpful in Researching a Business or Business Structure

  1. Memories of Madison: a connected community, 1857-2007 by John Rankin- H 976.197 RAN

  2. Madison by John P. Rankin- H 976. 102

  3. A Dream Come True: The Story of Madison County and incidentally of Alabama and the United States by James Record Volume 2- H 976. 197 v.2

  4. A mighty Fortress of Faith: A History of St. Mary of the Visitation Church, 1861-2011 edited by Pat Tumminello H. 282. 761 TUM

  5. Great Elks in Madison County ??: You Better Believe It!! A History of Madison County, Alabama by James Record H 366.5 REC

  6. Eden of the South: A chronology of Huntsville, Alabama, 1805-2005 edited by Ranee' Pruitt H 976.197

  7. Historic Huntsville Huntsville:A City of New Beginnings by Elise Hopkins Stephens, pictorial research by Patricia Ryan and "Partners in Progress" by Peter Cobun. 1st and 2nd Editions H 976. 197 STE

  8. A Walk Through Downtown Huntsville, then and now by Fred B. Simpson. H 976. 197 SIM

  9. The Pictorial History of Huntsville, 1805-1865 by Victor B. Haagen H 976. 197 HAA

  10. Huntsville: A Pictorial History by Dave and Sharon Dooling H 976. 197 DOO

  11. Changing Huntsville, 1890- 1899 by Elizabeth Humes Chapman H 976. 197 CHA

  12. Photographic Memories: A Scrapbook of Huntsville & Madison County, Alabama compiled by Elise Hopkins Stephens H 976. 197 STE

  13. I. Schiffman & Company : Huntsville's most diversified entrpreneurial business by Paul A. Hays H 976.197 HAY

  14. Why is it named that?: stories behind the names of 250 places in Madison County and Huntsville by Dex Nilsson H 976. 197 NIL

  15. Industrial Directories of Huntsville/Madison County (1979- 2013) - Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce H 670 HUN

  16. Commemorative Album celebrating our city's sesquicentential of Progress, Huntsville, Alabama- Huntsville Sesquicentennial Commemorative Album Committee H 976. 197 COM

  17. Historical Alabama Hotels and Resorts by James Frederick Sulzby H 917.61 SUL

  18. Huntsville by John Kvach H 976. 197 HUN

  19. Historical Markers of Madison County, Alabama edited by Frank Alex Luttrell III H 976. 197 HIS

  20. Northern Alabama: Historical and Biographical: Smith and De Land Publishers H 976.1 NOR

  21. Historic Photos of Huntsville- Text and Captions by Jacquelyn Procter Reeves H 976. 197 HIS

  22. King Cotton to Space Capital: The Huntsville- Madison County Story by Jacquelyn Proctor Reeves H 976. 197 REE

  23. Where to find the Best of Huntsville by Mike Kaylor H 976. 197

  24. Huntsville in Vintage Postcards by Alan C. Wright H 976.197 WRI

  25. Civilization comes to the Big Spring: Huntsville, Alabama 1823 by Sarah Huff Fisk H 976. 197

  26. History of the Newspapers of Huntsville, Alabama -1812-1939 by Edna Arnette Keel H 071 KEE
  27. The Huntsville Times Sesqui-Centennial edition published September 11-16 1955, an Index included

Microfilm Collection

Our microfilm collection includes not only The Huntsville Times, from its beginning in 1910 through 2016 but other Huntsville newspapers such as The Huntsville News and the early publications such as The Alabama Republican, The Huntsville Democrat, The Southern Advocate, The Mercury and others.

City of Huntsville Historic Markers Index

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The City of Huntsville provides a Historic Markers Index that includes interactive maps, a GIS section for finding geographic locations of various sites and locations and the historic markers index, with alphabetical search categories that provide links including a photograph of a marker, a map with its geographic location and verbiage describing what happened on the site and why it is historically significant.

Subject Guide

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Thomas Hutchens

Madison County Tax Assessor

The Madison County Tax Assessor has an office on the third floor of the Main Branch of the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library. The office includes many plat records, tax assessment books from 1857-1970, subdivision lot books for Madison County properties and much more.

View Tax Assessor Data & Maps Online: